On 4 January, the Instagram account @world_record_egg posted a picture of an egg with the caption ‘Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)”.
After it was posted, the Instagram egg quickly became a global phenomenon, and gained a great deal of attention. The post surpassed Jenner’s previous record in under 10 days, and currently boasts an amazing 52.9 million likes. The infamous egg not only holds the world record for the most-liked Instagram post, but also the most liked post of any social media platform.
Many have found amusement in the fact that a stock-image of an egg has beaten a successful influencer like Kylie Jenner. Some have seen it as a revolt against consumerism and the fact that certain influencers have dominated social media. Vogue have observed that "The attention economy is a scam based on requiring little to no labour from both producer and consumer despite commanding the most space, and therefore value, in our digital lives... but it very well could be: As a metaphor for the fragility of the influencer ecosystem, the egg has broken the Internet."
The account later posted a second picture of an egg, but this time there was a small crack on it. After this, the account continued to mysterious posts of additional eggs, with each one becoming more and more cracked. This created a great deal of anticipation and discussion around what might be inside the egg.
On 4 February, the egg finally cracked, and the reveal was used to promote a mental health campaign.
The page posted a video, with the caption ‘if you’re ever feeling the pressure, visit talkingegg.info to find out more’. The video showed the egg cracking, saying ‘recently I’ve started to crack. The pressure of social media is getting to me. If you’re struggling too, talk to someone’. The website talkingegg.info contains useful mental health links and encourages people who are suffering to speak out. Although the Instagram egg started out as an amusing joke, it has successfully become a positive and meaningful campaign about the damaging effects of social media, and awareness of mental health.